No primary for Garfield County coroner
April 2, 2014
Garfield County Sheriff’s investigator Rob Glassmire will be the Republican Party’s nominee to run for county coroner in November, after incumbent Coroner Trey Holt did not turn in a petition to force a primary election by a Monday deadline.
According to Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico, Holt had until 5 p.m. Monday to submit a petition with at least 754 valid signatures of registered Republicans in the county in order to secure a place on the June 24 primary ballot. That did not happen, she said.
The large number of signatures that were required relates to the 2010 Republican primary, when there was a large voter turnout due to a contested race for sheriff, Alberico said.
A total of 3,773 votes were also cast for Holt in the uncontested coroner’s race that year, triggering the 20 percent signature requirement for Holt to petition onto the primary ballot this year, she said.
The combination of a contested race for sheriff that year between incumbent Lou Vallario and challenger Doug Winters, plus the county’s move to an all mail-ballot election process in 2010, likely contributed to the higher turnout, and thus the higher percentage of signatures required this election cycle, Alberico said.
Vallario ended up winning the 2010 primary in a close race, and ultimately won re-election over Democratic challenger and former sheriff Tom Dalessandri in the general election that fall.
At the March 15 Garfield County Republican Party Assembly this year, Holt did not earn the 30 percent of delegates needed to advance to the primary.
Instead, challenger Glassmire of Battlement Mesa won the delegate vote 71 to 27 to be the party’s nominee for the coroner’s office. Holt’s delegate count was enough for him to try to petition onto the primary ballot.
Holt owns the Farnum-Holt Funeral Home in Glenwood Springs. He has held the coroner’s office since 1994 and was a deputy coroner for four years prior to that.
The lack of a petition from Holt means there will be no primary contests for Garfield County offices for either the Republicans or Democrats.
At the party assembly last month, Republicans re-nominated incumbent Sheriff Vallario, County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, Assessor Jim Yellico and Surveyor Scott Aibner, and nominated Karla Bagley to run for county treasurer.
County Democrats, meanwhile, nominated Michael Sullivan to run for county commissioner and re-nominated Alberico for clerk and recorder. Longtime Treasurer Georgia Chamberlain announced her retirement plans to party officials in January.
Alberico said both parties still have until April 17 to nominate candidates for any county offices for which they do not currently have a candidate.